The Color of Bigotry

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Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 7.56.31 PMTim Donovan has a column in AlterNet:  Yes, All White People Are Racists — Now Let’s Do Something About It.  The implication is that we are all racist, even if we don’t think we are.  In order to prove his point, he used a series of tests being done via Harvard – Project Implicit. Donovan asks it Americans, of all races, are bigots, and don’t think they are – but white people don’t deserve the benefit of doubt. He points to a series of studies that state that we are all racist bigots, no matter if we know we aren’t.  The racism is so entrenched, it is subconscious.

“…In the Implicit Bias module on race, for instance, “positive” and “negative” words are paired with computer-generated images of Black African faces and White European faces. The test instructs you to match the categories by quickly pressing a button on the left or right side of your keyboard, so that you’re connecting “good” words with black faces and “bad” words with white faces — and vice versa. The test measures how quickly you’re able to successfully follow the exam’s instructions; if you’re better at pairing “good” words with white faces than with black faces, you probably have some measure of implicit bias against black people. (As I did when I took the test.) Other modules explore one’s potential gender bias, age bias, religious bias, and so forth….”

So, evil white bigot that I am, I decided to take the test and see if Donovan was wrong.  I do not consider myself racist.  I figured if the test was as rigged as I suspected it might be, I’d need to take a couple other tests to prove my point.  Frankly, if the test is what tells you if you are racist or not, it is stupid, and anyone who writes an article about it is stupid if they believe the blasted test.  I swear the test was rigged to make people look like bigots with their answers.

Project Impact
Project Impact

You were to hit the “I” and “E” keys with teach word or image. Evidently I did not hit the images fast enough to prove that I am even less of a bigot than the tests say I’m not.  The geniuses who created the test never bothered taking into account that a person who doesn’t play video games is not going to respond as fast.  They never put dyslexia, which I have, into their factor.  They assume when you are taking their test that you would go – fast.  I was watching the news.  I was waiting for a phone call. When the phone rang, I stopped long enough to see that it wasn’t the call I needed.  There is a certain arrogance with the assumptions that a person is going to put their life on hold for however long it takes to take a truly boring test.

I also stopped long enough to notice the faces they used.  The African American faces were truly beautify, striking in their ethnicity, and classic bone structure.  The European American faces used were not near as attractive or appealing.  They were almost stereotypical white faces compared with truly stunning black faces.  Words were to be matched, with negative words going under the African American faces.  I kept thinking there is something wrong with this.

“…The results are as disturbing as they are instructive, and they’re buttressed by an increasingly robust body of research. The overwhelming majority of white people who’ve taken the test exhibit a preference for whiteness; for blacks, respondents are split nearly down the middle, with about half favoring black faces and half favoring white faces. (Because, the study’s authors speculate, the assumptions embedded in our culture that lead to this implicit bias can affect people of any race.)…”

Project Impact
Project Impact

Then – try this one:

“….[T]he racial anxiety differences between white Republicans and white Democrats are significant on the direct question, with white Republicans more likely than white Democrats to say a majority non-white country bothers them (18 percent versus 11 percent). But this apparent difference disappears with the indirect measure; when white Democrats are given the opportunity to register this opinion indirectly, those expressing concern over racial changes jumps from 11 percent to 33 percent, while white Republicans expressing concern rises from 18 percent to 30 percent….”

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of people saying that I’m racist, and implying everyone of my race is a bigot.  A heck of a lot of us aren’t.  I suspect there are more of us who aren’t bigots than are bigots.

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